If you travel for any length of time, it’s likely that at some point you’ll encounter rain. If you’re unlucky, you might spend more time in the wet than you’d like. But it doesn’t have to spoil your adventure; with a bit of planning you can be prepared for those rainy days.
What wet-weather gear to pack
A lightweight or heavy-duty jacket. If you’re heading into summer, just pack a lightweight shell for emergencies. But if you’ll be spending a winter or a rainy season somewhere, get a really good waterproof layer. Goretex is a good choice. Consider something that has a warm inner shell and a waterproof outer shell, then you can mix and match depending on the weather.
An umbrella. Definitely not an essential, but if you plan on spending a lot of time in cities it might be worth carting one around. I like to be able to put it up and down without changing my clothes or carrying around a wet jacket (for some reason, a wet umbrella isn’t as bad). We just have one between the two of us.
Pack cover. Pretty much essential unless you’re just carrying your stuff from airport to taxi to hotel. If you plan to do any hiking or want to save money by carrying your things with you when you explore a city, a pack cover is worth the investment. Many packs come with built-in covers, but if they don’t, buy one or improvise. Keep a cheap plastic poncho or large plastic bag in your pack for rain emergencies.
Plastic bags. If you’re somewhere where there’s a lot of rain, don’t just trust the pack cover. Waterproof your technology with several layers of plastic bag or a proper waterproof one. We always have a supply of ziplock bags for wet days, and most of our documents live in a waterproof pouch.
Where to pack it
All wet-weather gear needs to be accessible so that you’re prepared in the case of a downpour. Your pack should have a pocket for a pack cover, use it. And make sure your umbrella or jacket is easy to get to as well – a side pocket is a good place for it, or stuff it in with the pack cover.
It’s raining – now what?
Sometimes it isn’t possible (or pleasant) to do the things you’d planned to do, because it’s raining. If you still want to go out, look for indoor activities like museums and art galleries, and visit those on the rainy days. Similarly, use the sunny days for outdoor activities and keep the indoor options for days of less-than-wonderful weather.
Also, consider using wet days to relax. Some people travel hard and forget to slow down, don’t feel bad about having a day at home (or at hostel as the case may be). Read a book, play a game, study the language of the country you’re in. just have a rest and enjoy the sound of the rain on the roof.